The Green Sheet Online Edition
November 08, 2010 • Issue 10:11:01
Trade Association News
WSAA 2010 a smashing success
#dcf_If you haven't attended one of the regional acquirers trade shows recently, you may want to add it to your to-do list for next year. These ever increasingly popular shows are offered annually in various parts of the country. The Western States Acquirers Association held its annual show Oct. 13 to 14 in La Jolla, Calif., and it was one to remember.
Perhaps it was the beautiful locale, an industry recovering from tough economic times or a bit of both. But this year's show attracted nearly 600 participants. Add to this the pleasant surprise of an almost 2:1 attendee to vendor ratio and you have the formula for a successful event.
Field Guide sets the tone
Wednesday began with the popular Field Guide for ISOs seminar. This information-packed four hours was included with registration to the WSAA show.
Mark Dunn, founder of Field Guide Enterprises LLC, opened the session and also led the Sales Training Success session. Other topics were presented by industry notables and included:
- International Acquiring - Carrie Hometh, PayVision USA
- Mobile Marketing - Pal Flagg, Street Savings
- Getting the Most from Your Portfolio Investment - Harold Montgomery, Calpian Inc.
- Recruiting and Hiring Your Sales Team - Matt Clyne, Direct Connect
- Putting Social Networking to Work - Mary Winingham, Wasau Financial Systems Inc.
The day then shifted gears with the opening reception, sponsored by Moneris Solutions and Planet Payment, and an after party sponsored by iPayment Inc.
Breakout sessions stand out
Not to be outdone, Thursday was packed with education and information. Between exciting sessions, attendees mingled with the exhibitors. Breakout sessions were held after the morning's general session offered by a panel that provided the audience an overview on interchange and pending legislation.
Breakout sessions were also presented as panel discussions and included:
- Risk Products to Mitigate Your Exposure/Protecting Your Brand and Your Pocketbook
- Does the Future of Payments Include You?/Remaining Relevant in the Revolution of Change
- Starting an ISO? Laying the Foundation for Your Business
- Mobile Payments - The Future is Now!
After the standing-room only breakout sessions, attendees were treated with a keynote address by Jeffrey Hayzlett, the former Chief Marketing Officer of Eastman Kodak Co. and author of The Mirror Test.
Hayzlett amused and mesmerized the audience with his tales of highly creative marketing campaigns and advice on how to adapt these techniques to the payments industry.
Finally, payments industry icon Paul Martaus ended the day with his take on the industry and where he sees it heading. As always, he presented his insights with a wry sense of humor.
Attendees, vendors energized
Attendees and vendors alike were abuzz at the closing reception. Most agreed that this was one of the most informative and exciting shows they had attended.
When asked what he believes attributed to the phenomenal success of this year's show, Steve Eazell, President of WSAA replied, "I think that it was a combination of things. In so many ways, it was a perfect storm.
"I believe that the economy has shown signs of recovery, and people were looking for a solid outlet to network and get together. We held it in a great venue - in La Jolla in October - with great hotel rates. A good location is crucial to the success of these regional shows, and we have always recognized that.
"We were coming off of a pretty good buzz that was generated from last year's successful show. Plus, we had great marketing this year, we had a fantastic agenda including awesome speakers, (did I mention that we were in La Jolla, can't stress that enough) and our amazing board created an incredible show."
The next regional show on the calendar is the Northeast Acquirers Association's annual winter show scheduled for Jan. 25 to 27, 2011. The event is held each year in Mt. Snow, Vt. Exhibitor space and rooms both fill up quickly, so be sure to sign up early. More information can be found at www.northeastacquirers.com.
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